About the modules

At St Augustine’s we believe we should make theological learning as accessible as possible. If you are interested in pursuing theological studies at postgraduate level, but joining a full MA programme feels like a big step, a taster module gives you an opportunity to test your appetite and aptitude for academic study without committing to a full programme at this point.

These taster modules allow you, over one term, to take a single 20-credit module from our MA programme in Theology, Ministry and Mission.

  • Winter Term 2022-23: ‘Spiritual Direction’
  • Spring Term 2023: ‘Patterns of Spiritual Growth and Personal Transformation’
  • Autumn Term 2023: ‘Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality’


For further details on the Taster Module in Spiritual Direction see Susanne Carlsson talking about the class.

You can choose to study these modules either through Monday evening classes at our Southwark centre (6:30-9pm) or through five fortnightly teaching Fridays at Malling Abbey (10:30-4pm)



You will attend either evening classes or teaching days and have the option of completing two assignments.  You should expect to devote at least 10 hours of independent study per week.

Who is it for?

  • Are you a priest or ordained minister looking to deepen your theological knowledge?
  • Maybe you are a theology graduate and considering an MA in Theology?
  • Or just looking to deepen your theological knowledge through further study?

Then our taster modules from our MA programme in Theology, Ministry and Mission could be for you.

“I immediately felt safe and at home.  It’s welcoming, it’s calm, and I just knew that it was the place for me to study, where I could grow and where I would be encouraged”  Katrina Jenkins, student

We also warmly welcome you as a prospective student to visit us whenever it suits you. We invite you to meet members of staff and current students, sample classes and worship with us. We find this gives a real flavour of the college and current students have commented that it has really helped them to know that St Augustine’s is right for them.

To book a visit please email Becky Young at r.young@stuagustinescollege.ac.uk or call us on 01732 252656 – we’d love to hear from you!

Please note the same entry requirements apply as for our MA and other postgraduate programmes. See here.


What will I study?

Winter term 2022: ‘Spiritual Direction’

This module offers in-depth exploration of various approaches to spiritual direction, informed by classic Christian and alternative models of spirituality. It also enables development of, and reflection on, either initial or ongoing practice in spiritual direction.   This module is not a training course for becoming a spiritual director. Instead, it is intended for those new to and interested in this form of ministry as well as for existing spiritual directors. For the latter, the module will be a way of deepening existing knowledge and experience of spiritual direction.  The course lecturer is Susanne Carlsson.

Spring Term 2023: ‘Patterns of Spiritual Growth and Personal Transformation’

This module will involve in-depth exploration of examples of personal and corporate transformation, conversion and growth, articulated by key spiritual figures and texts from different periods of Christian history; analysis and comparison of distinctive patterns of Christian spiritual growth and transformation as treated in these sources; and assessment of the significance of these accounts for human growth and transformation today, employing a range of approaches, such as theological, spiritual, historical, psychological, and social.  The course lecturer is Eddie Howells.

Autumn Term 2023: ‘Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality’.

In this module we will explore some of the key writings within the Christian spiritual tradition, for example, the Rule of St. Benedict, Julian of Norwich’s Showings, the Cloud of Unknowing and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. Each opens a fresh window on the development of relationship with God, the practice of prayer and our experience of life. We will examine how to read these wisdom texts within their own context and explore their contemporary relevance.  The course lecturers are Chris Chapman and Barnabas Palfrey, both tutors at St Augustine’s.

In order to complete these modules you will be expected to submit two written assignments (5,000 words in total).

Where and when?

Winter Term 2022-23: ‘Spiritual Direction’ 

This starts with an online induction Monday 21 November (7-8pm)  Then ten Monday classes: starting 28 November and finishing on 6 March (reading week 13 February).  The Friday teaching days start with the online induction Monday 21 November (7-8pm).  Then classes: 9 December; 22 January; 3 and 10 February (tbc) and 10 March.

Spring Term 2023: ‘Patterns of Spiritual Growth and Personal Transformation’

This starts with an online induction Monday 6 March 2023 (7-8pm)  Then ten Monday classes: starting 13 March and finishing on 5 June (Easter 27 March to 10 April).  The Friday teaching days start with the online induction Monday 6 March (7-8pm).  Then classes: 24 March; 28 April; 12 and 26 May and 9 June.

Autumn Term 2023: ‘Texts and Traditions in Christian Spirituality’ dates tbc

Will completing an MA Taster Module give me an academic qualification?

Completing a Taster Module alone doesn’t give you an academic qualification. However, it is a module which normally forms part of our MA programme. If you pass the assignments for the module and decide to continue your studies, you will be able to enrol on the MA in Theology, Ministry and Mission, and the module you have completed will count towards the MA, accredited by Durham University.

What happens after I finish the module?

It’s up to you! You can choose to stop there, or, subject to passing the taster module assignments, you can enrol into our MA programme, as described above. If you enrol, your completed Taster Module will count towards that programme.

What does the MA programme involve?

Normally, the academic year involves three taught modules in Year 1 and Year 2 each, with an MA Dissertation in Year 3. (You also have the option to study full-time.)

For more information about the MA programme, see here.

How much does it cost to take the MA Taster Module?

The fee for the taster module is £500, payable before you begin your studies in September. Find out more about fees and finance here.

As part of our commitment to making theological studies accessible to all, we have established the Tattersall Fund, which provides bursaries in support of students whose personal circumstances mean that finance may be a barrier to study.

Applying for a bursary to help towards the cost of fees, books or travel is simple, and non-intrusive. Find out more about bursaries and how to apply here.